The Japanese are well known for their thinness, longevity, and commitment to health. Part of it boils down to diet, since the Japanese love stir-fried vegetables and rice and generally eat much healthier foods than the deep-fried meals often served in Western restaurants. It is also true that the Japanese conduct many studies on how exercise affects their bodies. They recently discovered that weightlifting helps to burn fat around the heart and that genes play a modest role in obesity.
The Japanese definitely know how to stay fit into old age. It is not uncommon to see women past 60 practicing dance and ballet. The Japanese certainly invest in health, as it is well known that activity plays a large role in keeping the heart healthy while remaining stagnant without an exercise area can rapidly lead to deteriorating health in old age.
While the United States has a large pharmaceutical industry and likes to use drugs, the Japanese tend towards a more holistic approach as it is both cheaper and healthy for the mind as well as the body. It is sometimes said that there is no medicine like exercise, and biologists seem to agree. The only exercise puts stress on the muscles and the joints fight fat and give the bloodstream a pumping good enough to keep veins and arteries clear.
The Japanese have done a lot of research over the years, but are particularly fond of news about how lifestyle and diet affect their health. They are also fond of consuming global news about similar research. The Japan News was willing to report on a study by the Copenhagen University Hospital that indicated that weightlifting might be better for reducing fat around the heart than aerobic exercise.
A certain type of fat near the heart, pericardial adipose tissue, was found to be reduced by people who lifted weights rather than just conduct endurance training. Cardio training can reduce other forms of fat and can improve cardiovascular health as a whole. The exact reason is not sure, except that weight training tends to mobilize calories quickly and fat near the heart tends to be more quickly mobilized due to proximity to the heart.
Weightlifting is acknowledged to be better at improving a body’s metabolism on the whole because it increases muscle mass as well as rapidly burning calories. A higher muscle mass translates into a faster metabolism even at rest, and so someone wanting to lose weight would be well advised to perform resistance training as well as jogging and other forms of cardio.